Democratizing Finance, Empowering Individuals
Since we were founded in 2011, QuantConnect has strived to empower individuals. It has been built into our core motto “Democratizing Finance, Empowering Individuals”. We are motivated to provide powerful investment opportunities for investors and the best technology possible available for quants. It is a difficult challenge but one we push through every day. Some of these challenges include:
1) Range of Data – Diverse Range of Datasets/Markets. We’ve added 30,000 Equity symbols, hundreds of FX and CFD symbols, 1,000+ futures contracts, all 4,000 symbols in the Options OPRA feed. Individuals can trade these and generate returns where they might not have enough volume to be interesting for hedge funds. Modeling all these asset classes is a challenge.
2) Resolution of Data – Manipulating Terabytes of High Resolution Data. We believe there are millions of opportunities are on a sub-minute time horizon but it is a difficult challenge to capture them. Even if you’re not trading sub-minute, you can use it for decision making, or execution of your larger positions. We’ve supported tick resolution data since 2013 despite the challenge of storing, cleaning and backtesting on terabytes of financial data. With thousands of community members, this is a difficult engineering challenge.
3) Brokerage Integrations – Maintenance & Extension. Simply put, brokerage integrations are tough. Often there are undocumented API changes or proprietary endpoints. Even with the best hosting there can be web disruptions and failures to communicate. Maintaining portfolio state and security is incredibly challenging and errors are costly. We’re always striving for uptime with our live algorithms and reached 7-months uptime for a single algorithm in June before it died. We’ve integrated with Interactive Brokerage, FXCM and OANDA and taken over custody/maintenance of the IBController community project to support local IB support.
4) Internationalization Support. Half of the QuantConnect community is international, so in early 2015, we built timezone support into LEAN. Datasets are marked in their local zone and algorithms can run data from multiple markets. It may sound easy, but timezones are still one of the hardest problems in QuantConnect!
5) No Lock In, Instantly Operational, Open Source. Its scary but LEAN has no vendor lock in. We’ve spent years of engineering and poured all our energy into LEAN making it the best platform in the world, allowing you to backtest and live trade entirely locally. Our open source project has always been a first-class product of QuantConnect with the build always passing.
One of the hardest parts of a startup and entrepreneurship is focus. With such limited resources, you have to constantly choose what to do, and what to axe. Determine what pathway to take to achieve a goal. Every time we face a crossroad which would put us at odds to our mission, we’ve paused and searched hard to find a solution. It often means we are forced to travel a slower or harder path, where we need to find an elegant or polymorphic solution which addresses all concerns — business and user demands.
I’m incredibly grateful to the team of QuantConnect for travelling this hard path together; and for the community members for their patience when we slip up. We are giving it 100% and will see it through. As we go forward in 2017-2018, we are dedicated to maintaining this commitment to quality, openness and putting our community first — working to give you the best platform humanly possible!
Thank you for your support.
Team @ QuantConnect
PS: The baseline free tier ram allocation is now 8GB, happy backtesting =)